Biden’s Not-So-Clean Energy Transition

Source A: The Wall Street Journal (behind paywall).

Source B: The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions.

WSJ comments on a just-released report (Source B):

The International Energy Agency, the world’s pre-eminent source of energy information for governments, has entered the political debate over whether the U.S. should spend trillions of dollars to accelerate the energy transition favored by the Biden administration. You know, the plan to use far more “clean energy” and far less hydrocarbons—the oil, natural gas and coal that today supply 84% of global energy needs. The IEA’s 287-page report released this month, “The Role of Critical Minerals in Clean Energy Transitions,” is devastating to those ambitions. A better title would have been: “Clean Energy Transitions: Not Soon, Not Easy and Not Clean.”

The IEA assembled a large body of data about a central, and until now largely ignored, aspect of the energy transition: It requires mining industries and infrastructure that don’t exist. Wind, solar and battery technologies are built from an array of “energy transition minerals,” or ETMs, that must be mined and processed. The IEA finds that with a global energy transition like the one President Biden envisions, demand for key minerals such as lithium, graphite, nickel and rare-earth metals would explode, rising by 4,200%, 2,500%, 1,900% and 700%, respectively, by 2040.

The world doesn’t have the capacity to meet such demand…The supply of ETMs is entirely aspirational. And if it were pursued at the quantities dictated by the goals of the energy transition, the world would face daunting environmental, economic and social challenges, along with geopolitical risks.

The IEA data [also] show that, depending on the location and nature of future mines, the emissions from obtaining ETMs could wipe out much or most of the emissions saved by driving electric cars.

If a thing cannot be done, it won’t be. It is a crying shame that Stumble Joe and his cronies are determined to spend trillions of dollars on an impossible dream. We will all suffer for it.

8 thoughts on “Biden’s Not-So-Clean Energy Transition

  1. Darn, I was just about to post the same link.

    The ETM’s, if they exist at all, are unrecoverable at an acceptable environmental cost. We have already extracted the easy supplies, as we go down the list of sources, they require progressively more effort to recover. To get enough lithium and graphite, we’d have to strip mine every wild place and rainforest on the planet.

    But that doesn’t matter, for those who worship big government all that is necessary is an Executive Order mandating it be possible.

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  2. Another really bad part of this pipe dream is China controls the supply and/or processing of over 80% of the critical metals needed to make the clean energy batteries. You know, lithium, cobalt, rare earth, etc. Why doesn’t the left just go ahead, hail Mao, communism, admit fealty to China and be done with it?

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  3. Impossible dream?

    From the IEA report . . .

    “These risks to the reliability, affordability and sustainability of mineral supply are manageable, but they are real. How policy makers and companies respond will determine whether critical minerals are a vital enabler for clean energy transitions, or a bottleneck in the process.”

    The world of the future is going to be different. Get over it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. RE: “Impossible dream?”

      Yes. “The IEA data [also] show that, depending on the location and nature of future mines, the emissions from obtaining ETMs could wipe out much or most of the emissions saved by driving electric cars.”

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          1. Maybe I did not read carefully enough but I saw nothing in the report about the probability of mitigation being low or high or anything else. I think that is your opinion based on what you want to believe.

            And, as a simple matter of word meaning the fact that the negatives identified “could” be managed means that a green energy future is NOT an “impossible dream.”

            Liked by 1 person

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